10 Ways to Finish An Arm Bar From Mount Position?

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Arm Bar From Mount

Explained by Stephan Kesting

It is a common scenario that an opponent defends the armbar in different ways. Stephan Kesting shows 10 different ways on how to finish the arm bar from mount position. He starts the instructional video coming from S-mount or the mount then attacking an arm. He describes in detail how to complete the arm bar from mount position including 10 very common senarious.

1. Reach for the far side arm: 

The first scenario is when the opponent locks his arms together to pull the arm that is being attacked preventing it from being straightened. What Stephan Kesting does is to pull the far arm’s tricep to remove the leverage of the defender in preventing the arm from being straightened. 

2. Figure 4 wrist lock

Next scenario is when the opponent chain grips his hands. Stephan Kesting showed two options in dealing with the chain grip. The first move is to do a figure four wrist lock. And second is to break the grip with the wrist lock to make the opponent defend before finishing the arm bar from mount position when the grip is already gone. 

3. Underhook the leg and attack the wrist

Another arm bar from mount position from mount position finish is to underhook the leg and make a 45-degree angle. This stops the hitchhike and the opponent from getting to his knees to stack. 

The goal is to be able to slide your arm into the wrist of your opponent. But in order to switch from the crook of the arm to the wrist effectively, underhooking the leg allows you to exert pressure and threaten the arm. 

4. Bottom foot on the bicep

It is also an option to use the bottom leg to break the grip of your opponent when he or she is defending the armbar. Just simply kick by the bicep of the far leg to break the grip and continue the armbar once the grip is gone. 

5. Top foot on the bicep

arm bar from mount position
breaking opponent’s defense to complete the arm bar from mount


The top foot is also an effective means of breaking the grip when someone defends the arm bar from mount position. The leg that is hacking on the face can be used to kick and create opposite pressure and break the grip in order to resume the armbar.

6. Double instep on the bicep

The double instep on the bicep finish for the arm bar from mount position simply means that you create some type of x-guard configuration on your opponent’s bicep and push in order to break the grip. 

Stephan Kesting mentioned however that moves involving the foot on the bicep are somewhat low-tech ways of finishing the armbar, but it works nonetheless. 

7. Dribble the head

Now, if you are looking for a rough way to break the grip, a possible finish is to dribble the head using the leg that is near the face. Just simply use the hamstring to dribble the head of your opponent enough that he or she gets distracted and you go back to the arm bar.

8. Palm Strike to the elbow

A good arm bar defense is to form a mata leao grip, or to even cross the arms. In this scenario, it becomes harder to break the grip. What Stephan Kesting demonstrated in this scenario is to continue pulling the arm by the elbow joint. And to break the grip, you will have to palm strike the elbow to free the arm that is being attacked.

9. Spin to the other side

If the palm strike to elbow finish isn’t working, a good alternative is to spin to the other side of the arm. To execute this arm bar finish, the hand that pulls the arm switches as a posting hand while the hand closer to the lower leg of the opponent cups the tricep of the opposite arm. Next, you can uncross your legs and switch to the far side on top of the opponent. This puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. Also, this makes the far arm go on top vulnerable for the armbar. Once you’ve reached the other side, resume attacking the arm.

10. Swing-Behind Far Side Arm bar

One scenario to defend the armbar is to remove the leg that is in front of the face. The opponent then sits up. Stephan Kesting addresses this counter by doing an arm drag and head to the back. Once on the back, he then resumes attacking the far side arm. This makes it similar to the swinging armbar but done on the opponent’s back instead of pivoting on top.

Arm Bar from Mount Drill

Above are some stats on how effective the arm bar submission is in competition. We recommend you apply these above concepts to your mount game and let us know the results. Please submit a question or comment so our BJJ community can help answer your questions.

Published in BJJ Blog, Submissions From Mount

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